Le Caprice reopens as training academy

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Photo credit: Ewan Munro (via Flickr)
Photo credit: Ewan Munro (via Flickr)

Related tags: Caprice holdings, richard caring, Recruitment, Restaurant, Training

Iconic London restaurant Le Caprice has reopened as a training academy in response to the worsening staff shortage hitting the hospitality sector.

Owner Richard Caring has told The Times​ ​that the lease on the restaurant, which closed last summer​, had 18 months to run, so he had decided to use it to offer six-week training courses aimed at 18 to 24-year-olds who had not previously worked in hospitality.

The aim was to train bartenders, chefs, waiters and kitchen porters. 

Caring, who runs the Caprice Holdings restaurant group, said that the move was a response to the staff shortage created mainly by the impact of Brexit and the pandemic on the supply of European workers.

His hope is to eventually move the academy to a bigger site in London and to develop two more in Manchester and the south of England. 

“We’re suffering like everyone else,” he said.

“We’re very short of people, which means current staff are being asked to work longer hours and extra shifts.”

Recent research from the UK’s leading industry trade bodies shows that hospitality is currently facing a shortage of more than 200,000 workers​, with vacancies across every business in the sector.

Caring added that the shortage was putting pressure on wages and the average cost of attracting new staff was now 'way above' the minimum wage.

Le Caprice closed in June last year after nearly 38 years trading, and was one of London’s most famous celebrity restaurants.

The Times​ reports that Caring is currently seeking a 'more glamorous' site for Le Caprice.

He is also considering an offer of a new 20-year lease on the old Caprice site with a view to creating 'something very original'.

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Restaurant

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